Chapter published in:Widening Contexts for Processability Theory: Theories and issues
Edited by Anke Lenzing, Howard Nicholas and Jana Roos
[Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition Research & Teaching 7] 2019
► pp. 131–154
Developing morpho-syntax in non-configurational languages
A comparison between Russian L2 and Italian L2
Within the Processability Theory (PT) framework, the Topic Hypothesis (Pienemann et al., 2005) and its recent reformulation as the Prominence Hypothesis (Bettoni & Di Biase, 2015) have contributed substantially to explaining syntactic development in non-configurational languages, adding an important discourse-pragmatic component. However, the role of morphological development cannot be ignored, because in this type of languages it is morphology that constructs syntactic relations (Nordlinger, 1998). This chapter will look at syntactic development by attempting to incorporate both morphological and discourse-pragmatic factors in a way that is consistent with the predictions of PT’s Prominence Hypothesis. Specifically, I will look at the development of morpho-syntax in Russian L2 and Italian L2 – two languages located towards the less configurational end of the typological spectrum, the former more dependent-marking, the latter more head-marking.
Published online: 28 November 2019
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